Tuesday, March 20, 2012

AMEC ships Primo AD-RIE tool to SMIC

SEMICON China, SHANGHAI, CHINA & SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) announced that one of its second-generation dielectric etch tools, the Primo AD-RIE is now installed at leading Chinese foundry, SMIC. The customer will use the tool for process applications at nodes of 32/28nm and below.

This is the first installation in China for the Primo AD-RIE, which made its debut last summer at SEMICON West. An earlier version, the Primo D-RIE, is already entrenched in the region. Additional Primo AD-RIE tools are installed at customer sites in Taiwan.

To date, 11 customers are using AMEC tools at 14 fab sites spanning a mix of IDMs, foundries and packaging houses in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Korea. This includes the recently launched Primo TSV200E etcher which opened new markets for AMEC's technology. Common to all AMEC systems are high productivity, excellent process performance, ease-of-use and low cost-of-ownership. Rising demand for the tools in Asia, along with an increasingly diversified product portfolio has set the company on a growth trajectory.

To keep pace, AMEC will soon complete a large expansion of its Shanghai facility, adding more than 10,000 square meters of manufacturing space. The growth is also evident in AMEC's revenue which more than doubled from 2010 to 2011.

The Primo AD-RIE tool is an Advanced Decoupled Reactive Ion Etch (AD-RIE) system for critical process requirements. Leveraging the field-proven capabilities of the earlier Primo D-RIE tool, the Primo AD-RIE features technical innovations to tackle the challenges of 22/14nm devices that complicate the production of leading-edge film stacks, while ensuring superior on-wafer performance.

They include: a frequency-switchable RF system for processing flexibility and repeatability; better tunability techniques for ultra-fine Critical Dimension (CD) uniformity and repeatability; and enhanced chamber materials that reduce defects and lower the cost of consumables.

"We're pleased that the first Primo AD-RIE tool in China went to a leading Chinese fab," said Michael Chu, VP and GM of AMEC's Etch Product Business Group. "Like its predecessor, the Primo AD-RIE™ delivers a capital productivity gain of 30 percent or higher when compared to competitive tools. Overall cost of ownership is reduced by 20 to 40 percent. A compact footprint -- at least 30 percent smaller than the nearest competitive system -- completes the solution, making the Primo AD-RIE the most productive, capital-efficient and advanced etch tool on the market today for both very critical and less critical etch applications."

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